This week I wanted something that was warm and hardy in this cold weather but wasn’t in the mood for soup.   Once again, came through.  I picked this recipe – Quinoa & Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash – because I liked the ingredients yes, but if truth be told, it was first because the picture looked awesome.

Did not have a lot of time for prep this weekend so did it over two days…. small bites (see what I did there) makes it feel like it is not a burden but is fun.  After the yummy main course, I had a bit of mishap with my smoothie…. not a mishap so much but a smoothie fail is more honest.  I worked with it and made it a bit better and will consume it…you will see the odd color it is in the picture.  I made a recipe I have made before and loved it…. Iced Banapple Turmeric Smoothie, again from Blue Zones.

I always used Unsweetened, unflavored almond milk for my smoothie preparation. Recently I tried soy milk and it was ok.  Today I tired vanilla oat milk and it was not quite the flavor or texture I am used to.  More below, but I don’t think I will use oat milk again…just not for me.  But I learned something new and had a fun experiment.  Sometimes, learning what doesn’t work is just as important as learning what does.

This week’s menu:

  • Breakfast:                 Modified Iced Banapple Turmeric Smoothie
  • Lunch/Dinner:          Quinoa & Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash
  • Snack:                      Fluffy Banana Muffins from @kalejunkie
  • Water:                      Of course

Modified Iced Banapple Turmeric Smoothie:  I encourage you to try the recipe in Blue Zones for this yummy smoothie.  I would, however, suggest unsweetened, unflavored plant-based milk.  As mentioned above I tried the flavored oat milk this time and then my attempts to alter the flavor in my thought, to make it better, it just was not what it should be.  As you can see by the color it got weird. I did add some greens to it, but when I tasted it, it was not what I remembered and to try to counter the vanilla flavor of the milk – which was also a texture that was not my favorite, I added some frozen berries.  Well, it got better but still odd.  Not going to toss it, so I will make it work but, now I know, I prefer unsweetened almond or soy milk over oat milk.  You can find the original recipe at

Quinoa & Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash:  This recipe, also from Blue Zone, looks hard but fully meets the requirements of Simply Yum – it is both.  I was not a huge squash lover until I have tried some of the Blue Zone recipes, and this one I will make again.  Together with scallions and celery, this recipe has dried cranberries, quinoa and pumpkins seeds and apricots (I did not have apricots).  This recipe also uses the juice of blood oranges; another thing I have not used before.  They are beautiful and added lovely flavor to this recipe.  One modification I did make was to add low sodium black beans to the mix.  Delicious.  Full recipe is at

Fluffy Banana Muffins:  I have made these fabulous muffins from before and they are delicious.  I have made them both with gluten and gluten-free flour and my preference on this one is the gluten flour, but both are very good again, super simple.  My ninja blender did a great job with these ingredients.

Water:   Had to use those beautiful blood oranges since I had them.  Added ginger, lemon and lime and one small bottle of sparkling water.  So good.

Have fun, experiment, find out what you do and don’t like and try again.  ENJOY

#StrongisBeautitul #SweatisSexy #HealthisHappy


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